We’re going off the grid today. An adventure within an adventure, if you wish.
Not much contact with anyone else and off to a very unfamiliar part of the city.
The outskirts. The deserted. The isolated. Just call us Bear Grylls.
This can only go surprisingly well or absolutely disastrous…
Like clockwork, we arose early in the morning and got ready, followed by making our way to the bus stop. This time, however, instead of heading South as usual, we were embarking on a trip to the North of the city. Our only resources being a decent window seat to get a good view of the bus stop signage for every stop and the self-confidence to approach locals for directions should we get lost.
Let the games begin…
After an hour or so, we made it to our destination: Porta di Roma mall for a serious session of shopping. Each floor was adorned with an array of retailers suited for every taste. Michael Kors, Sephora, and Guess next to one another when you first step into the multi-storey shopping centre, you know it’s going to be a fantastic Friday.
My Mother and I can be rather efficient shoppers. We know what to get, for whom, and where. Within a matter of hours, we had a successful spree with gifts to bring back for our nearest and dearest, and we were ready to head back down South.
My favourite part of Rome thus far? The assortment of gelaterias on quite literally every corner.
To treat our sweet tooth after a sunset stroll around the neighbourhood, we stopped by a quaint and cheerful branch which swiftly became our local during the trip. Spoilt for choice with so many flavours to choose from, we eventually indulged in a decadent four-scoop cone with a generous serving of whipped cream on top and a wafer biscuit. After all, double the wafer, double the fun, right?
We spent the remainder of the evening enjoying our cool concoction whilst taking in the finale of the golden hour before residing to our rooms and getting plenty of rest for Day Four.
As our accommodation in Trastevere is so close to Vatican City, we thought it was right we did a hop, skip and jump to visit the world’s smallest country and say hello to our neighbour.
Encircled by a 2-mile border with Italy and located on the western bank of the Tiber River, Vatican City is an independent city-state that covers just over 100 acres. To put it in perspective: it is one-eighth of the size of Central Park in New York.
We walked around in circles around St Peter’s Square and savoured the stunning views and intricate architecture.
The temperature had dropped and was a stark difference to the usual 30°c heat we were getting accustomed to. Amidst the downpour, we quickly sought shelter and some sustenance in one of the nearby cafés. We tucked into our carby goodies, pesto linguine and mushroom risotto, with the background sounds of the rain and chatter from our fellow tourists.
Possessing the characteristics akin to a well-trained house cat passionately refusing to step outside at the slightest drop of rain often has its perks. The sky cleared and a beam of bright sunlight bestowed upon us all. We continued our stroll around Vatican City whilst picking up some souvenirs to remember our visit before travelling back to Trastevere and browsing the local street markets.